Posted on March 27, 2013 at 6:23 AM
Wednesday, Mar 27 at 10:38 AM
AUSTIN -- Phase One of the Highland Mall overhaul begins on Wednesday. Austin Community College will break ground on its new campus.
Heavy construction equipment rolled out on Tuesday. The first part of construction will unfold at the old JcPenney store. The interior is gutted. There are signs posted on steel beams that show what will soon begin to develop. ACC is building classrooms and labs including a state-of-the-art math emporium.
“It's a 600-computer station, the largest in the nation. It's an open lab dedicated to developmental math. It should provide the opportunity to come up with innovative curriculum for accelerating students through developmental math,” said VP of Finance and Budget at ACC Neil Vickers.
Construction is expected to be complete with the first phase ready to open in the Fall of 2014.
Afterward, work will continue to make over the entire mall. ACC bought out the entire facility. It will become the school system's largest campus.
“It's centrally located, it has lots of transportation [opportunities]. The MetroRail is right across the street over here. We have a Capital Metro transfer station also on the site, and then of course we have a lot of the major roadways with I-35, 183, 290 and so forth, so it's a great location for ACC,” said Vickers.
The timetable for full completion is still under development.
Vickers said the school teamed up with another developer to rework some of the parking areas. Plans include mixed use developments with residential spaces. A time line for those projects hasn't been completed.